Cubs Grow A Pair, Bench Soriano

Maybe the Cubs read TCR afterall...

After Dr. Hecht pleaded with the Cubs to liberally use the DL and get Alfonso Soriano off the field, they announced he's been shut down indefinitely to rest his knee. Piniella says Soriano was agreeable to the decision. Yes, one of the five worst players in baseball this year(with meaningful at-bats), is okay that you sit him. Well phew, I'd hate it if he was upset.

I'd applaud the Cubs for the move if this was July, but now it's just desperation and an offseason talking point.

In roster move news, Bobby Scales has been called up and Derrek Lee is still in Chicago for the birth of their second child. Fuku, Theriot, Bradley, Ramirez, Hoffpauir, Baker, Soto, Fuld and Z are taking on the Mets as we speak.

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Comments

I wish the Cubs would be proactive once instead of being reactive a vast majority of the time. It is good to see they finally came to their senses when man of us have been saying this for weeks and weeks.

this game is f'n fail.

Good to see the Cubs can't even beat the Binghamton Mets.

I guess the Cubs really want the title of the 'Most Disappointing Team' in 2009.

I can't believe I am actually going to CitiField on Sunday to see these two pathetic teams.

The only thing left this season is to see if the CUbs can finish .500 or better.

The Cubs team is like playing a game of whack-a-mole. As soon as one thing gets good, the starting pitching in this case, then two other weaknesses pop up, the offense and the bullpen.

Piniella says Soriano was agreeable to the decision. Yes, one of the five worst players in baseball this year(with meaningful at-bats), is okay that you sit him. Well phew, I'd hate it if he was upset.

Ouch.

I wonder how agreeable he will be to batting 8th next year after he goes 2-32 in Spring Training...:)

I just hope it was the knee and the knee gets better. The fact that he hit pretty well in April gives me some hope, but his contract is going to be a black cloud hanging over the franchise 2 years earlier than I thought it would be if he's done.

COLO, SF, FL and STL win.

Cubs are 11.5 back in the division and 7 back in WC (with 4 teams ahead of us) with 29 games to go.

Doesn't look good...

We could really have used Lee these past two games. Is there some complication with the baby?

I think Lee watched the game vs. the white sox and decided to take a couple extra days before he had to deal with this shit again.

Tough to blame him.

Hey, maybe this disaster of a season with get some of the 49 players on the roster who have NTC's to possible waive them.

If Clarice Starling answered Hannibal Lecter that Jim Hendry was the cause of the Cubs not winning this year, or the pennant in 2003, 2007, and 2008 let alone the World Series, Dr. Lecter would say, "No, that is incidental."

If Tom Ricketts is going to give the keys to the Escalade to Hendry/Craig Kenney for the next three years, then this nuclear winter between Cubs World Championships is going to go on and on and on.....

Bradley, Soriano, Gregg, Miles, et al are the symptoms, not the disease. If Ricketts wants to make lots of money, fill the ballpark, maximize Cubs revenue streams, and propogate the 'Wrigley Field Experience', then he is home free. The Tribune Company set that train in motion years ago, and all Ricketts has to do is enjoy the ride. The season ticket waiting list will keep the park filled with 3 million plus fans for the next 3-5 years minimum.

However, if Ricketts REALLY, REALLY wants to produce a championship Cubs team on his watch then he needs to get real busy this winter...........and Bradley is just the beginning of his 'to do' list. Here's the low hanging fruit for Ricketts:

1. Prepare to eat some major contract dollars from a number of sources (tax write-offs, salary dumps, restructuring his debt, whatever).
2. Fire Hendry; hire a 'real' baseball President/Sr. VP of Baseball Operations
3. Let the new President hire a GM with a PLAN, and then (and this will be a new concept for Cubs executive management) MANAGE this GM to execute and measure the success of his PLAN.
4. Have the new GM hire a manager in the Bobby Cox/Mike Scosia mold who clearly delineates what he expects from PROFESSIONAL athletes and what he will ACCEPT as satisfactory performance on and off the field.
5. Build the 2010 and beyond Cubs around these parts -- Zambrano (but manage his ass), Dempster, Lilly (re-sign after 2010), Wells, Marmol, Soto (get his fat ass on a diet and keep him there), Theriot (2b), A. Ramirez, and Fukudome (CF or RF, I don't care). The rest of the team could come from players on the current roster (I doubt it), trades, or the farm system.

Yeah, I don't think that's going to happen either and that's why I've never been more depressed to be a Cubs fan. It's hard to change a culture of ineptitude, failure, and a virtually complete unwillingness to manage a process of change without the complete COMMITMENT to do so from the apex of Cubs management down to the hitting coach at Boise.

What really smart top management personnel realize is that eating the salaries of Soriano, Bradley, Miles, etc. is the easy part. It's the actions in #2 through #5 that includes the really heavy lifting.

Though I am not fully on board with this 'Fire Hendry, bring in a president' bit, I will admit it has some valid points. You were doing alright until #4, with Bobby "it's OK to punch another player in the face as long as you're hitting' Cox. There's no difference between those guys and Pinhead. Resigning Lilly, really?

You didn't really specify what the change you want is, other than to 'not suck'. Keep the guys who did well in 2009 and Soto, get rid of everyone else, and commit the organization to not sucking. That's your plan?

"t's hard to change a culture of ineptitude, failure, and a virtually complete unwillingness to manage a process of change without the complete COMMITMENT to do so from the apex of Cubs management down to the hitting coach at Boise." The Cubs minor league system is actually doing pretty well, and the Cubs are the two time defending division champs. What culture of ineptitude and failure are you talking about? Did this change to a Lions blog?

How is the Cubs minor league system 'doing pretty well'?

Going into the week they had 3 of four full season teams in the playoffs or in contention for a spot. Rob only posted about it three times, easy to see how you missed it.

You should be more specific then in your ramblings. When you say the Cubs minor league system is 'doing pretty well', I think most people will take that as how their organizational talent is, not W/L records.

Minor league W/L records are meaningless and have no barring on how good the Cubs minor league organization is doing.

You should learn to follow the conversation rather than randomly pick sentences out of context.

You should learn to actually type what you mean. It is a good skill to learn.

So is breathing through your nose, try it for a while.

The Cubs system is not only winning, but talented, raw players have developed well this year. Vitters hit great at Peoria, Starlin Castro is hitting around .300 at AA at the age of 19, Cashner and Jay Jackson are promising and Hak Ju Lee looks like the real deal. Brett Jackson and DJ Lemahieu have performed well at A ball after being drafted.

The Cubs system is no longer Vitters and everyone else. Baseball America has already mentioned that we will move up from a lower tier to a respectable level.

Oh my god. This is such a cub-like thing to do to overrate these guys. I consider the cubs organization to be one of the most piss poor in all of baseball. They have a unique lack of ability to coach raw talent into MLB players and because of that you'll never see the cubs turn out an Evan Longoria. F the cubs farm system.

not to nit-pick your point, but longoria turned himself out. he was as much of a sure-thing out there as anything, imo.

OK, but the Cubs could never turn out a Buster Posey or John Olerud, you have to admit.

Both Iowa and Peoria are leading their respective leagues in fewest runs allowed. Somebody is coaching these pitchers.

You don't know anything about the current Cub farm system, do you?

You think Ryan Harvey was poorly coached rather than poorly drafted.

You think Ryan Harvey was poorly coached rather than poorly drafted.

Does it f***ing matter? They can't draft a bat, they can't develop a bat.

True, though, they've had some mild success with pitchers. Zambrano was a success. *sigh*

Didn't mean to be rude earlier.

To me, Wilken is the most important figure in the organization, altho Hendry has to get credit for hiring him. Wilken's first draft was 2006. If you say that the average prospect who's any good goes up the ladder, one rung per year, then that 2006 class was in Peoria in 2007, Daytona in '08 and Tennessee this year. Tennessee has some bats this year and just made the playoffs, while Iowa is very thin in the hitting department.

Peoria has been a powerhouse all year. Daytona was primed to make a run in the second half but lost Vitters to a hand injury and then lost Castro and Harrison in the same week. Campana got worn down from stealing 60 bases. So they were an interesting team that faded.

A couple more Wilken drafts and they may have solid winners at every level. I've been a fan for fifty years. Tell me when it was ever like this before. For this, I can forgive Hendry anything.

What do I mean by THIS? How about seven solid shortstop prospects? Count 'em: Castro, Lee, Lake, Barney, LeMahieu, Flaherty, Watkins. Theriot doesn't stack up to any of these guys.

I guess my point is it's been a real long time since the Cubs organization took raw talent and coached it into a top-level big leaguer. Maybe my expectations are too high or maybe this is just the result of the Cubs focusing on drafting pitching in recent history.

And yeah, Ryan Flaherty is quite a creature.

Of course, this overrating comes from websites that do not know baseball and merely think like Cubs fans. Like Baseball America.

Nobody is overrating Starlin Castro -- he is a 19 year old hitting .300 at AA ball. Cashner is pitching well at AA. Vitters is 19 and had a good season. Jackson and Lemahieu both performed well.

I personally think Lemahieu was a bad pick and Jackson a hit or miss prospect. But saying they performed well and are good prospects at this point is not overrating them.

i can assure you BA not only have ears/eyes on the ground, but they do not mail in any of their research.

they have actual people with connections doing work...they don't get their info by looking at box scores.

right or wrong they talk to the player coaches, trainers, other media, and many scouts from many different teams...as well as their own eyes/ears for evaluations.

Lee's fielding percentage at Iowa this year is .919, and Castro's is only slightly better, .936. For all their range, that's not good enough.

When you're 19 and have tremendous range, and haven't thrown the ball to first thousands of times, you make a lot of throwing errors. Who told you that this or that fielding pct. is not good enough for a certain kind of player at that age?

When I mentioned Derek Jeter's 56 errors in 1993 at Greensboro, when he was 19, I was told that that particular HOF shortstop could not be used in defense of 19-year olds Castro, Lee and Lake.

Okay.

BR doesn't have fielding records for Omar Vizquel at nineteen, but when he was 21, at Vermont and Calgary, he committed 25 errors. 21 is a lot older than 19.

Vizquel started 2,583 games in his major league career. If you say (somewhat arbitrarily) that a full season for a SS is 145 games, he played 17.81 seasons, and made 183 errors, or 10.275 errors/season.

In 2000, at age 33, he started 154 games and had 3 errors.

I don't know anything about Jack Wilson, but people around here seem to like his game. 34 errors at age 21 (.942 fp).

I'm sorry, Neal. Was there a Cubs World Championship in there between 1908 and last year? My definition of a committed, professional, focused sports franchise is one that winning the World Series/Super Bowl/Stanley Cup is your singular goal EVERY season. You have a PLAN geared towards making that a reality more than once a century.........ideally, every decade.

I don't have the 'PLAN'. My point is that Hendry (and others) doesn't have one, hasn't effectively managed one if he has had one, and gives no overt indication that he can do anything except throw lots of cash, no trade clauses, and guaranteed contracts at some very questionable baseball 'talent'.

I'm old-fashioned. I like ballplayers who can field their position at least major league average, move base-runners around, hit safely with runners in scoring position, and pitchers who can find home plate without a search party. I could live with a Soriano in LF if he started 150 games a year and put up offense numbers at his career averages. My limit in the NL is one DH per team playing in the field. Yesterday, the Cubs had 3 DHs in the field. Soriano would be getting a defensive replacement in every game the Cubs led after 7 innings.

Last, I don't care if Bobby Cox or whoever pisses in the face of a ballplayer. I don't see a lot of 'drama' from players on the Braves, Angels, Twins, and for that matter, the Cardinals. I give the field managers for those teams credit for that. Their job is to get satisfactory performance out of each player in whatever role they use them, and if you have to use a two by four to get the jackass's attention once in awhile then I could care less. The real point is that players who are 'problems' for these types of managers find somewhere else to play sooner rather than later; and more likely, are never signed to play for these teams in the first place.

And, yes I would re-sign Lilly to a 2-3 year extension next season if the money worked for both parties. Based on his performance the first 3 years here, I couldn't imagine why not.

gives no overt indication that he can do anything except throw lots of cash, no trade clauses, and guaranteed contracts at some very questionable baseball 'talent'.

Jeebus, I think even Manny gives Hendry more credit than that. You didn't like the Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee acquisitions? Not working out for you? Helpful hint: do not include the words "salary dump" in your response.

I like ballplayers who can field their position at least major league average, move base-runners around, hit safely with runners in scoring position, and pitchers who can find home plate without a search party.

I like delicious cakes and winning lottery tickets, and the Cubs aren't making those happen for me either. The only way to have good things is to have good things. I don't know why the Cubs can't see that.

I don't care if Bobby Cox or whoever pisses in the face of a ballplayer

That mental image alone is enough to make me wear sackcloth and ashes for the rest of the day. But yeah, the reason we're all grumpy as hell is because the 2009 Cubs were mollycoddled...by Lou Piniella. The 2008 Cubs, by contrast, were not mollycoddled...by Lou Piniella.

"I don't have the 'PLAN'. My point is that Hendry (and others) doesn't have one, hasn't effectively managed one if he has had one, and gives no overt indication that he can do anything except throw lots of cash, no trade clauses, and guaranteed contracts at some very questionable baseball 'talent'."

Here's a list of guys who Hendry has given a no trade clause to:
Soriano
Fukudome - doesn't seem to be a full one
Zambrano

Soriano and Zambrano's contracts are untradeable anyway, so that's not a big deal, and Fukudome had to be lured from another league to sign a FA deal. The other NT guys are 5/10.

He assembled the best team in the NL, and by many accounts the best team in the game in 2008, pretty damned good for someone who is just wandering around haphazardly throwing cash at random ballplayers.

"I don't see a lot of 'drama' from players on the Braves, Angels, Twins, and for that matter, the Cardinals. I give the field managers for those teams credit for that."

Trust me, if you followed the teams more closely you would see lots of drama. The Braves had their Franceour fiasco, they release some players who play dirty (that first basemen) and keep others (Renteria who punched Fontenot in the face) based solely on how well they are playing. The Cardinals have a team famous for drunken driving. The Twins bitch to the media constantly about ownership and their GM not making deals. The Angels have been pretty quiet to my knowledge, but so have the Royals, so let's bring in their management team.

Make arguments, I think it's great, and it's what we're all here for. Just make cohesive ones that make sense, please.

"And, yes I would re-sign Lilly to a 2-3 year extension next season if the money worked for both parties. Based on his performance the first 3 years here, I couldn't imagine why not."

And, yes I would re-sign Hendry to a 2-3 year extension enxt season if the moeny worked out for both parties, based on his performance for the last 3 years, I can't imagine why not.

Seriously, though, the why not is because he'll be a soft tossing fly ball throwing lefty pitching at Wrigley field, and if this year is an indication his body is beginning to betray him.

TRN:
"Here's a list of guys who Hendry has given a no trade clause to:
Soriano
Fukudome - doesn't seem to be a full one
Zambrano

Soriano and Zambrano's contracts are untradeable anyway, so that's not a big deal, and Fukudome had to be lured from another league to sign a FA deal. The other NT guys are 5/10."

Just for clarification...
- When Ramirez was resigned in 2006, he was not a 10/5 guy at that time and Hendry gave him a NTC. He is now.
- When Lee was extended in 2006, he was not a 10/5 guy at that time and Hendry gave him a NTC. He is now.
- Lilly was not a 10/5 guy, and is still not one, when he signed with the Cubs and got a NTC.
- Smarsdkfjasdkf got a NTC right off the bat.

Lilly has trade protection, not a full NTC. I did miss that one. Smardizijai I missed that one too, because I was looking at the major league roster.

Just for clarification, Manny, it's 2009. Was it Lee or Ramirez you wanted to trade after the 2007 season?

I'm not even going to respond to 90% of your response, Neal, because we'd just be continuing to pick gnat shit out of pepper. But here's another 'championship' question to answer or ignore like you did in the last post: How many pennants & world championships have the Braves, Cardinals, Angels, Twins and Royals won since the Tribune Company bought the Cubs? The Cubs still have what the little boy shot at..........NOTHING.

Also, my 'target' isn't Hendry. It's all Cubs management from the Tribune tower to the hitting coach in the Arizona Rookie League.

How many championships have the Cubs won since moving to what is known as Wrigley Field? How many championships have the Cubs won since they lifted prohibition and started selling beer in the stands? How many championships have the Cubs won since they integrated baseball? How many championships have the Cubs won since Cuba became communist?

"The Cubs didn't have the best record in the league this year, FIRE EVERYONE" very well thought out, congratulations.

This is obvious a novel concept for you, Neal, but trying reading thoroughly and comprehending what is and isn't being written before you do your superiority dance after every posting.

I'll be more crystal clear since you are obviously not getting 'it'.

Organizations and companies succeed and become the best (champions) of their business by having a vision for success that is communicated and permeates the organization from top to bottom, side to side. Every business unit has a job or mission that is critical to being the best (like pitching, hitting, defense, scouting, player development, etc.).

These organizations/companies have management (Presidents, directors, managers, supervisors) who MANAGE each of these business units on a day-to-day basis that understands the objectives, plans, results expected, and tracks progress and performance to plan on a weekly/monthly/yearly basis. Successful members of the unit, including management/supervisors, who meet expectations are rewarded. Those who don't are coached to improve performance or replaced.

My point with using the Angels, Cardinals, Braves, Twins, etc. (and I should have added the Red Sox) is as examples of what the Cubs should be aspiring to become. They've all done something since 1990 that the Cubs haven't -- WON A WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP.

That's my point, Neal. Like my tag line, I only care about the Cubs winning a World Championship. I don't give a crap about OBA/OPS/RISP, etc., etc., etc. except to the extent those players contribute to winning a World Championship. Everything other than winning it all and dedicating your entire organization to being the best is meaningless horsecrap to me.

Show me the championship hardware or tell your story walking.

I almost read half of that.

Once again, completely unfounded juvenile crap. It's great that you read Lee Iacoca's book recently, but being that you haven't been in the the Cubs organization or in any of those other organizations you have no idea how they operate and what type of "use paper clips instead of staples" philosophy runs them.

If you had half the gorm you think you do, you probably would have figured out that the Cubs hired the 'architect' of two Twins championships, and it didn't produce any championships.

It's obvious, Neal, that what you know about management, leadership, and how to identify a winning baseball organization would fit on the end of a pencil with room to erase. You're an ass whose sole purpose is get the last word in every post. Congratulations, enjoy conversing with yourself from this point forward.

Yes I am an ass, and your plan was already attempted and didn't work, and you didn't even know about it. Better an ass than an ignoramus.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/10027102/Cubs%2...

Will be out for two weeks. Hope that means he'll be ready by April 1.

Glad to see the Cubs wised up and go for the surgery now instead of needlessly waiting and risking a bigger injury, like I stated days ago. I agree with TRN, hopefully he will be ready to go by April 1, we will need him.

Sarcasm is really a hard thing to grasp, isn't it?

"Glad to see the Cubs wised up and go for the surgery now"

It was Soriano's idea not the Cubs. I told you the other day that Alfonso had already decided to have surgery (it's his and only his decision to make) if the cortisone shot didn't do the trick. Remember? You said you didn't care what Soriano thought.

I wonder why Soriano agreed to finally have the surgery, let's see.....

Maybe because the Cubs shut him down. There you go, you got the whole story now!!

Cubs forced his hand by sitting his ass down and Soriano knew he likely wasn't playing again this year because of that.

Cubs did something right, kudos to them...

Sorry, waiting until September wasn't right.

Hell, signing him wasn't right. It's bugged me all season that the Cubs describe Jake Fox as a man without a position while we've had to watch Alfonso bumble and fumble and injure himself trying to play the outfield because they have to play him somewhere.

Found this digging through the archives, which RobG had mentioned in the Wells post a couple days past.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/tom_...

One particularly stupid thing he says is: "It's the same principle as training for a marathon; you get to 26.1 miles incrementally, not by jumping directly from a 10K". Yeah Tom it's exactly the same except that:

1. A 10K is about 6.4 miles and a marathon 26, so mathematically the analogy would be going from 64 innings to 260 innings
2. 10K's and Marathons are one day events. The baseball analogy would be you don't go from throwing 21 pitches in a game to throwing 84.
3. Marathon trainers don't work up to running marathons, they do interval training. Your body would break down if you tried to run 18, then 19, then 20 miles etc leading up to a marathon

Totally unscientific analysis. He only looks at pitchers who are under the age of 26, which would not include Wells. Other flaws with his study is that he doesn't take into account the cause and effect relationship of pitching well and throwing more innings, and the converse. He says "look these guys threw a lot of innings and next year they don't". The reason they threw a lot of innings in year 1 is because they were good, and in year 2, they may throw fewer innings because they're not good.

Soriano getting his knee scoped...no surprise.

Expecting to hear he's had Microfracture surgery? Say it ain't so, Joe.

Is there a 300 day DL?

just doin' the math: 60 days x 5 years

News flash: Hendry signs newborn baby Dylan Lee to a 38 year, no trade clause contract. Guarantee includes a NRI --invite to spring training next year.

Congrats to DLee and family.

Bob Dylan or Dylan Thomas?

Without him, the Cubs past two days sucked to the max if that is possible. Thankfully, he's back with the team today.

biggest problem is that our supposed strengths are in fact our weaknesses [Soriano, Zambrano, Bradley & their contracts]...will be @ the I-Cub curtain-ringer on Monday to see if I can get some final grades on, for instance, Samardzija...

I love the Soriano... woob, woob woob pic. If you look closely he's overrun the ball and his right knee is saying stop, his left knee is giving out and for him to be so out of position it's his brain that didn't give the legs timely instructions even though they couldn't carry them out anyway.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs...

NEW YORK -- Alfonso Soriano said he will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee later this month after manager Lou Piniella shut him down Friday.

"Lou said it's not good to play on one leg," said Soriano, who had cortisone shot in the knee Sunday. "I was 80 percent, but now I'm down to 50 or 60 percent. I play with my knee on my mind, and I'm scared to get hurt. If we're out [of it], it's better to do the surgery before we go to the Dominican [for the off-season]."

The cleanup surgery would sideline Soriano for two weeks, so depending on when he undergoes the procedure, he could miss the rest of the season.

"There's no timetable, but for now, we appreciate the fact he wants to play, that he's a gamer and that he wants to help us.

"Lou said it's not good to play on one leg," said Soriano

brilliant. give that man $4+ million bucks.

hehe...wow, what a soriano-like quote.

I really need to get into this sportswriting business. Self contradiction and lack of fact checking seems to be what's required to get your article picked up by national news services.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/10011956/Pedro,...

Obviously the #1 offseason priority should be acquiring Nelson Figueroa.

a short, but effective outing for Harden

5 IP, 10 K, 2 R, 1 ER, of course it was his own error

celebrating baby Lee in style...2 HR's for Derrek today

i dunno why anyone acts like a no-trade in CHI is a big deal.

hey, yo...chicago ain't that special. this isn't SD or ARZ or LA or etc...

yeah, it gives them to the power to say "i dont wanna go to DET" or similar, but it's not like a no-trade is a non-negotiable road block. it takes options away, but it's not an immovable force.

well...with grabes we got a left handed marmol.

...and grabes is replaced by marmol...poetic.

Didnt realize Sorianos knee was that bad. What is Bradleys excuse for turning in a shitty season? Ohhh right nothing.

I heard that he cut his hand on a broken record.

oh snap.

the sad part is I think MikeC and others believe Soriano has been as good or even better than Bradley this year...

Let me see...

Soriano 477 At Bats. 55 RBI's.

Bradley 362 At Bats 38 RBI's.

Yep, it's not even close. Soriano will make a good 4th outfielder next year, though.

No, no, no. You have it all wrong. Let me fix it for you:

Soriano 477 At Bats
Bradley 362 At Bats

There you go.

Obviously Soriano is better.

I'm sorry...I think they both suck this year. Soriano's knee injury couldn't have helped could it? He's streaky, but the last 2 months are ridiculous even for him.

I know Bradley's all world OBP is really good...I'd just like him to hit all year next year like he did in August this season.

That was quite good.

Like my tag line, I only care about the Cubs winning a World Championship
---
and I feel sad for dead bunnies

When they operate on Sori's knee, can they take the "hop" out of it? Mentally it has taken the ability to lay off a slider off the plate, and Lou hasn't noticed it yet.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/17560...

from today's sunday sun-times:

Soriano...plans to have an extensive eye exam by a specialist after teammates and staff asked him about his eyesight.

''Not like a normal test,'' said Soriano, who added that he can't tell a difference in his sight from other years but wonders if an imperceptible difference has contributed to the worst-hitting season of his career. ''I had four or five people ask me about that.''

Players have their eyes checked every spring as part of their team physicals. But the exams aren't extensive.

Just as a precaution, the Cubs' scouts who brought us this stellar outfield might have their eyes tested, also.

While they're at it, check his age.

What is going on? Scales in LF, Baker at 2nd, and Fox and Hoffpauir both on the bench? I can't justify this. Does it have to do with the size of the ballpark?

It doesn't matter. Season over.

I understand that I could just read this as a symptom of the season being over, but still, why not put Fox out there in that case? He's the one who might have more of a role next year. OR why not play Scales at 2nd?

You just don't play scales in LF while you've got Fox and Hoffpauir on the bench. I'm sure those guys would like to play as well, and they're not in the mix at 2nd like Scales is.

Re: Minors

In spite of Navigator's constant whine of "Teflon Tim Wilken", isn't the principal goal of the mnor leagues to develop a player to the point that they can "graduate" to MLB?

If that is correct, unless I am mistaken, these are the players I can think of without too much effort who have done this cir. fairly recently:
wells, theriot, fonty, hart, hill, fox, a. blanco, the hoff, fuld, patton, k. hill, mc geehee, marshall, soto, samardj(does not belong, imo), et.al.

You guys may debate how they were acquired, or used - but while none of these may be Colby Rasmus, don't most of the mentioned deserve their shots they've received?

Personally, I see a lot of trash in that list (not all of it). McGeehee turned out decent... as soon as he was traded.

Well, that is your opinion. "A lot of trash..." is pretty subjective.

So, you are discounting what I said that, "...the goal is to graduate to MLB."

I did not state that "graduating and staying with the club", defines success - even though it may be limited.

McGhehee is a MLB ballplayer. All of the above would be playing with another MLB team, if not with the Cubs, most people would agree with. Whether that is with Cinci, the Padres, Nats, etc.

So, if that is "trash", than you are discounting the fact that only 650 players out of all of the entire farm system of 26 teams get afforded the opportunity.

I think the principle point of the minor leagues is to feed the GM players he can use to make a playoff caliber MLB roster.

Though getting players to the majors is good, unless those players are getting you to the playoffs it's not enough. Wilken, for instance, had to miss what amounted to 4 rounds of his first draft because Hendry had burned draft picks to sign free agents. That is something the GM has to take into account and others have to look at when evaluating the success of a system and it's chief drafter.

The Cubs system, seemed to have produced what the Cubs needed to contend this year, unfortunately a lot of those guys didn't do very well.

"I think the principle point of the minor leagues is to feed the GM players he can use to make a playoff caliber MLB roster."

Ideally, that is a great goal. But not attainable by all.

There are owners who are merely interested in club capital appreciation, and fielding a team that will draw a few fans into the stadium. Making a "playoff caliber" roster is not attainable as the major market teams.

Well, I think the A's, Twins, Indians and Marlins have shown that you can do it with just about any level of ownership commitment. Maybe not an annual playoff team, but definitely a system in which you build for 3 years of contention and then reload for two years and do it again. What you don't want is an ownership scenario like Houston where you're perpetually locked in a "win at all costs" mindset and focus 95% of your energy solely on the MLB roster.

I think McGeehee is an interesting case. It's a fair question: What did Milwaukee do for McGeehee that the Cubs didn't and why didn't they?

My whole point is not necessarily the "amazing success stories" of Cubs recent farm-hands "graduating" - it is the players making it to the "Bigs" - which with only 650 players getting that chance, is a major achievement in itself. When hearing Randy Bush recently, he also mentions these players also being used as important trade pieces (another key factor in gauging success of MiLB). Another name that came to mind after seeing him in the "wrong" uniform this summer is Brendan Harris on the Twins. Not good enough for us, but fine for the Rays and Twins.

I realize that we are all frustrated, angry, disappointed, disgusted, and fed-up - but saying that our minor leagues are not delivering anything, or "its just trash", simply is not accurate in my opinion.

Soto sucked this year, but last year in his weed-induced season, he was fantastic. Randy Wells - ok, maybe not Cy Young, but the team would be fighting it out for last place w/o him. And, the guys I mentioned in my earlier post, while not All Stars, FOR THE MOST PART, show that they are Major Leaguers.

Which again, is the main goal of the Minor League system of professional sports. If they turn into Albert Pujols (we should be so lucky), then that is icing on the cake.

brewers/fielder walkoff celebration #1.

lol... clever.

just saw the highlights...

blanco wow!

fuld, 'doh!

offense still sucks

from today's New York Daily News:

"One of the biggest problems we've had," said Piniella, "is a lack of depth. When you play in Wrigley Field with all those day games, you need to have a good bench and we just haven't had that. It's something we're going have to address over the winter."

Had the Cubs not traded away all-purpose man Mark DeRosa for payroll reasons last winter and replaced him with second baseman Aaron Miles, who's been a complete washout (.213, 5 RBI), perhaps they might have been able to sustain the extended loss of Ramirez. At the mention of the DeRosa trade, Piniella rolled his eyes.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/2009/09...

Even after making the blunder of trading DeRosa, the Cubs still had two in-house solutions to the loss of Aramis Ramirez.

(A)But first, you can't sign Miles. What an idiotic mistake!

(1)Protect Casey McGehee who was lost on waivers to the Brewers. (In a 2006 interview now Asst. GM Randy Bush singled out Casey McGehee as one of three Cubs prospects he was sure would make it in the major leagues.)

or

(2)Replace the injured Ramirez with Jake Fox instead of Miles (who immediately made it apparent he couldn't field the position forcing Mike Fontenot out of position and into 134 AB's as the Cubs' third baseman).

2009 stats as third basemen:

Mark DeRosa.. 318AB 16HR 45RBI .255/.765
Casey McGehee 162AB 8HR 29RBI .265/.789
Jake Fox ......... 90AB 6HR 21RBI .289/.892

A straight line translation of Jake Fox's numbers into 230 AB's (Aram's replacements AB's) would mean something like 15 HR's and 54 RBI's from Jake while Ramirez was out.

See my point above when you are trashing Tim Wilken, once again.

He is still on the clock.

And I should add, if any Cub should be referred to as a "man without a position" it's Aaron Miles. We have at least five other guys who can play 2B better than him including Alfonso Soriano and probably Jake Fox, he's a limited and inadequate sieve of a shortstop, and he literally can't play third base.

We have at least five other guys who can play 2B better than [Miles] including Alfonso Soriano and probably Jake Fox

Oh my. You just lost the very little bit of credibility that you may have had.

lack of depth?

this team had depth if nothing else.

the lack of good bench part i can get with, though...what a disappointment for the most part.

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